Peek molding is a plastic injection process that allows for rapid manufacturing of complex, high-strength parts. This type of processing is particularly suited for engineering polymers such as polyether ether ketone (PEEK). Peek molding provides advantages over other manufacturing methods, including compression molding, which requires a large charge of material to be placed in the mold and then heated while under pressure. In contrast, peek molding can create parts with small charges of material and short production cycles, making it a viable option for many companies in a variety of industries.

PEEK is a semi-crystalline thermoplastic that retains its strength at higher temperatures than most other plastics. It is also highly resistant to chemical degradation, corrosion and fatigue. The material can be used to manufacture a variety of industrial products, including hydraulic cylinders, automotive gears, oil screens and shift start discs; aircraft engine parts; automatic washing machine rotors; and medical devices.

Due to the superior mechanical properties of this polymer, it is a popular choice for high-performance applications. In addition, PEEK is FDA compliant and can be sterilized for use in the medical industry. It is also one of the few materials capable of operating at ultra-high vacuums, which makes it suitable for aerospace applications.

Injection molding is a common method for forming PEEK plastic parts, but it can be challenging to do correctly. The material is difficult to inject, and the high processing temperatures can degrade it if not handled properly. For this reason, it is important to work with a custom plastic manufacturer that has experience working with the material and can adapt standard injection equipment to accommodate it.

When injecting PEEK, it is essential to have a clean processing environment. Most other polymers will degrade at the processing temperatures of PEEK, and even traces of other materials can show up as black specs in the final product. Therefore, it is essential to have clean drying ovens, hoppers and injection molders, and to make sure that all regrind is used for PEEK only. It is also important to keep the temperature of the molten PEEK at 170degC – 200degC, and to avoid quench cooling into the amorphous state.

While there are many other factors that can influence successful PEEK molding, the five outlined above are important for first-time molders of the material. By taking these precautions, manufacturers can minimize problems with the material and ensure that their finished parts meet or exceed expectations.

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